States of Colombia

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The Nine Sovereign States

States of Colombia existed from February 27, 1855, in the Republic of New Granada and the Granadine Confederation, were they were called "federal states". In the United States of Colombia they were called "sovereign states" (though they were not at all sovereign states in the modern sense of the word).

In 1886 the Republic of Colombia abolished the states and divided the country into the departments of Colombia.

Republic of New Granada[edit]

The centralist structure that came to be in the Republic of New Granada after the disestablishment of Gran Colombia and that was ratified by the constitution of 1843, was soon challenged; particularly the provinces of Azuero, Chiriquí, Panamá, and Veraguas, who were demanding an autonomous status. The Constitution of 1853 opened the way so that on February 27, 1855 Panamá State could be created within the Republic of New Granada.

Soon others followed suit, regionalism was too strong, and in order to prevent a breakup like the one Greater Colombia had, with Venezuela and Ecuador leaving the union, congress allowed the creation of other federal states:

The Law of June 15, 1857, created the other states that would go on to form the Granadine Confederation:

The nation was formed by the union of these Sovereign States which were confederated in perpetuity to form a Sovereign Nation, free and independent under the name of the “Granadine Confederation”.

Granadine Confederation[edit]

In 1858 the new constituency, made up in its majority of conservatives, convened and signed the Constitution for the Granadine Confederation of 1858,[4] confirming Bogotá as its Federal Capital.

On July 12, 1861, after raising in arms against the constitutional government of the president Mariano Ospina Rodríguez, the general Tomas Cipriano de Mosquera created the Tolima State, carved out of Cundinamarca State. This was confirmed and legalized by the rest of the states of the Colombian Union, by means of Article 41 of the Pact of the Union on September 20, 1861, reaffirming the legality of the institutionalism of Tolima[5]

Republic of Colombia[edit]

The Colombian Constitution of 1886 converted the states into departments, the presidents became renamed as governors. [6]


  1. ^ "Law of the Creation of the State of Antioquía". Cervantes Virtual. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Ley de creación del Estado de Santander (1857) - Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes". Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Constitución para la Confederación Granadina de 1858". Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ "Constitución de Colombia de 1886". Retrieved 16 February 2015.